Ipswich remains without a decent surf break after plans to build a facility were shafted.
Ipswich remains without a decent surf break after plans to build a facility were shafted. Contributed

Surf, arts centre, paper mill: More undelivered projects

READERS have responded to the QT's list this week of over-promised projects, naming several more never built.

CITY SURF BREAK

THE phrase; "I'm heading to Ipswich for a surf", might have been a regular one in Queenslanders' discourse if Paul Pisasale had his way.

He first floated the idea in 2012 and confirmed the council was in talks with a Gold Coast businessman to start a $100,000 feasibility study.

Available land on public transport corridors such as Springfield, Ripley Valley or Rosewood were to be considered as possible locations.

The wave pool was expected to cost between $5 million and $10 million, and include attractions such as slides, pools and even white water rafting or canoeing courses.

Mr Pisasale's opponent at the 2016 mayoral election, Gary Duffy, also floated the idea of a surf pool built bounded by Keogh and Tiger Sts.

Mr Pisasale slammed Mr Duffy, saying he had previously looked at putting a surf park at the same location but found it was not suitable.

In 2012 Mr Pisasale was told if Ipswich was serious about the project, it could be up and running inside three years.

Six years have passed and Ipswich remains without a Bells Beach surf break.

AN ARTS CENTRE

PERHAPS the most over-promised project in Ipswich's history is the city's world-class performing arts centre.

The region's existing civic centre was opened by Gough Whitlam on July 19, 1975.

Since the opening Ipswich's population has grown from about 115,000 to 210,000.

A promise for a $100 million, 1500-seat auditorium and second 600-seat conference room was the centre of Paul Pisasale's 2012 re-election campaign.

The council committed $10 million to the project, but no cash was ever committed by the state and federal government.

Like many council projects, no proper study was done to support the case for federal or state funding.

The space was supposed to be used for the performing arts, conferences, exhibitions and functions - with the existing civic centre only accommodating about 800 people.

A new civic centre was promoted earlier this year before, like Whitlam, councillors were dismissed.

In 2014 councillor Charlie Pisasale said; "we recognised several years ago that we are losing so much business".

Despite the statement, Ipswich continues to lose business.

Artist impression of the proposed Performing Arts Centre for Ipswich.
Photo: Contributed
Artist impression of the proposed Performing Arts Centre for Ipswich. Photo: Contributed Contributed

THE PAPER MILL

IT SEEMS a difficult situation to believe in today's digital age of touchscreens and online information.

Back in 2004 Ipswich City Council and the state government gave the green light to a $1.2 billion paper plant at Swanbank.

It was supposed to provide paper for the nation's expanding magazine and publishing markets - employing 650 people during construction and 260 during operation, producing 390,000 tonnes annually of coated fine paper.

The complex project involved futuristic recycling of water between the site through pipelines from Wivenhoe Dam, Bundamba Wastewater Centre and Swanbank Power Station.

It never eventuated in Ipswich after Swanbank Paper confirmed it was speaking with the Tasmanian State Government about building the site south.

While the progress of the project in the southern state is unclear, it is certain Ipswich never reaped the rewards of the $1.2 billion project.

BRIDGE OVER FERRY

IT HAS been more than 50 years since discussions first began to replace the Moggill Ferry with a bridge, but any formal plans are yet to be put in place.

The ferry was introduced in 1878 and connects Moggill to Riverview, Ipswich, via Moggill Rd over the Brisbane River for 12 hours a day.

Former councillor Paul Tully said in late 2015 the Moggill Ferry was "a relic from the horse and buggy days when Cobb & Co coaches ran between Brisbane and Ipswich".

He said the bridge over the river had "been talked about for over 50 years but no government of any political persuasion has been prepared to consider it seriously".

Mr Tully had campaigned for a bridge for 35 years and said the Moggill Ferry "belongs in a museum" rather than being part of a modern transportation network.

A Transport and Main Roads spokesman in March last year confirmed the option of a bridge had been "investigated".

He said it was not viable due to low demand, flooding and significant construction costs.